Monthly Archives: January 2018

Winter and Hockey

Today is Hockey Day in Canada. Not exactly a national holiday but a day that always brings a smile to my face. Every Canadian hockey team is seeing action today, starting with Calgary vs. Winnipeg, which starts in about an hour. I may watch some of it, but my family is coming over and we’re going to be outside, enjoying the mid-winter reprieve from the bitter cold we’ve had lately. At the moment, I have a coffee in my hand, and a blanket over my legs, and I started to think about the romance of winter. And hockey. 😉

Of course, you know one of my major themes is hockey romance, as in, ordinary women meeting and falling in love with professional hockey players. Sports-themed romance in general is nothing new. There are thousands of stories out there about football players, baseball players, basketball, rugby, soccer (or football again, for my readers outside of North America.) and even golf, tennis, and other pros that I just can’t think of right now. Hockey alone has more than I could ever read. Not all of them good, necessarily, but they are plentiful.

What is it about hockey that’s so amazing? I know why I love it. Part of it is ingrained from birth, I’m sure. I did live in Edmonton for several years growing up, during the time of the Oilers’ greatest years, pre- and post-Gretzky. It’s fun being in a hockey city, seeing jerseys in bars and pubs on game nights, being able to go to games (wish I could go to more… any time someone wants to gift me with tickets, or take me to a game, I’m all for it!) but outside of all that, what is it about the game itself?

It’s rules are fairly simple: put more pucks in the net than your opponent. Sounds easy, right? Now do it while balancing on razor-sharp skates, using a stick to guide the puck, while still watching out for and dodging defencemen, then shoot the puck past a goalie into a net 6′ wide by 4′ tall. Piece of cake, right? Oh, also there’s basically no out of bounds, so except for penalties or off-side calls, play doesn’t stop, so you get short breaks between each 45-second (sometimes longer) shift and still have to be faster, stronger, and have a better shot than the other guys. No problem.

I learned to skate at a very young age, and while it is like riding a bike, in that you never forget how, I certainly never had the skills or talent to do more than skate laps around a rink. So I’m amazed every time I watch a game. They are so fast, all of them. Their stamina is impressive, and having the hockey sense to pass a puck, accept a pass, or keep moving forward with the opponents breathing down your neck, it’s all so incredible to me. I feel the same about a lot of sports and athletes. They all make it look so easy, don’t they? It’s just something they do, like I breathe, or write.

And of course, what’s not to love about the season? There’s nothing like that first wide-spread snowfall, when the snow covers everything and after the sun goes down, the air takes on this sort of soft, pink hue, and the world is hushed. Winter was made for introverts and homebodies, like myself. Winter means it’s OK to bundle up in a dozen blankets and stay in by the fire with a good book and a cup of tea. Now, add in a hockey game with your favorite team. I love it! You have no idea how many stories I’ve written or plotted or edited while watching hockey. Or maybe you do. 😉 It must be pretty obvious with the subject matter I write.

I don’t know if I’m expressing myself very well. I’m not going to lie and say I love winter all day, every day. The days when I have to shovel two feet of snow from my front and back walks, I don’t love. I don’t like having to start my car twenty minutes before I can leave work because it’s so bloody cold, the car just won’t run, and I certainly don’t enjoy spending an extra half hour or more on my morning or afternoon commutes because the roads are in such rough shape. But those few days in the winter, when I’m not working, when I’m watching the snow fall, while warm inside with a cup of coffee, and I can watch a good hockey game, those days, I love. And to me, that’s romantic.

Take care, and happy reading!

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New Year, Nothing New

Here we are. It’s 2018. And I’ve accomplished nothing so far. To be fair, I was travelling until four days ago, and this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and read or relax since then. November and December were crazy as well, so all together, I haven’t had much downtime since before Halloween. That’s OK though. I’ve been squeezing in a lot of writing, or planning numerous stories, even with my busy schedule. Even made some awesome notes and headway in a couple of brand new projects. They’re not quite ready for sharing yet, but I may post a ‘sneak peek’ in the coming days. I’ll keep you posted, as always.

Does anyone out there do New Year’s resolutions? I don’t. They’re never a good idea, in my opinion. It might be something you can stick with, but in general, New Year’s resolutions just don’t work. I remember when I was going to the gym regularly – ah, I miss it so much. Also miss weighing less…  – every January, there’d be this massive uptick in attendance. It would last for a good month, then by February, they’d start dropping like flies, until we were back to the ‘usual’ crowd. It may have been that they switched to different times (I used to go at opening every morning, 5:30 a.m., it was the best, most productive time for me) but my guess is most people just didn’t last. And that’s OK too. I couldn’t continue going to the gym because of the cost. I’ve been seriously thinking about carving out space in my budget for it though, because I loved going. I don’t think I’d classify that as a resolution though.

If anything, my resolutions are the same as always. Save more money, don’t sweat the small stuff, and write more. Always write more.

And on that note, I’m going to get to it. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and that you’re not letting the winter blues get you down. For my part, I’ll be so happy when the daylight starts to stretch again. 🙂

Until next time, take care and happy reading!

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